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Sunday, February 9, 2020

Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs

Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs

International Response To The Coronavirus Outbreak -- News Updates February 9, 2020

Posted: 08 Feb 2020 09:24 PM PST

Daily Mail: US embassy staff in hazmat suits board a State Department plane in Wuhan to check passengers heading for quarantine on the West Coast as the first American coronavirus death is confirmed and the global death toll soars to 724

* US embassy staff in hazmat suits were seen boarding a State Department plane home from Wuhan Friday
* Shocking pictures taken during the boarding process of the cargo plane at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport on February 7 show staff dressed in white hazmat suits and masks and blue 'U.S. Embassy' bibs
* The first coronavirus death of an American citizen was confirmed by the US government Saturday morning
* The unnamed US national, aged 60, passed away Thursday from the virus in Wuhan
* Latest figures showed coronavirus has infected 34,957 people worldwide and killed 725, up by 88 in a day
* Number of fatalities is now higher than the death toll from the SARS outbreak of 2003
* On Friday, the last two flights that the US State Department chartered to evacuate Americans from the coronavirus outbreak's epicenter in Wuhan, China, landed in Texas and California
* One passenger on each plane developed symptoms that could indicate coronavirus
* Currently 12 Americans on US soil have been diagnosed with coronavirus and a dozen passengers - including Americans - on a cruise ship docked in New Jersey are to be tested for the virus
* The first US coronavirus patient has been discharged after treatment in Washington state
* Thursday, a Chicago couple - the first US case of human-to-human transmission left hospital
* US health officials say Americans should expect more cases of coronavirus as testing ramps up
* HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a Friday press briefing the Trump Administration will commit up to $100 million to fighting the coronavirus outbreak in the US and abroad
* Development of a treatment for coronavirus is proceeding 'without glitches,' said the NIH, and is expected to begin clinical trials in two-and-a-half months

US embassy staff in white hazmat suits were seen boarding a State Department plane in Wuhan on Friday, as the first coronavirus death of an American citizen was confirmed and the global death toll leaps by 87 overnight.

Shocking pictures of repatriation efforts of US and Canadian citizens have emerged showing the lengths necessary in order to try to limit the spread of the disease as people are brought back from China onto US soil.

Embassy staff were pictured during the boarding process of the cargo plane at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport on February 7.

In the images, staff are dressed head to toe in white hazmat suits and masks, with their blue 'U.S. Embassy' bibs over the top.

The inside of the plane is partially covered in white sheeting and cargo appears to be transported in black bin liners. Other passengers appear to be in regular clothing except for face masks.

Read more ....

International Response To The Coronavirus Outbreak -- News Updates February 9, 2020

In France, two schools to shut as five British nationals among new coronavirus cases -- France 24
Coronavirus: Five Britons in French ski chalet catch virus -- BBC
American dies of coronavirus in China; five Britons infected in French Alps -- Reuters
Coronavirus evacuation flight leaves Wuhan bound for Darwin -- ABC News Online
Hong Kong border towns welcome virus controls, despite trade hit -- AFP
Panic buying hits Singapore after virus alert raised -- AFP
US citizen dies in Wuhan, China; UAE confirms 2 more cases -- CNBC
First American coronavirus death is confirmed as US citizen, 60, dies in China - as the number of people killed by the infection soars above 700, surpassing SARS death toll -- Daily Mail
State Department evacuates 800 residents out of Wuhan amid coronavirus outbreak -- Washington Examiner
American cruise passenger passes the time stuck in coronavirus quarantine by tweeting reviews of his food as he jokes the only pleas for help are 'for more coffee' -- Daily Mail
ANOTHER Coronavirus cruise ship docks: Vessel with 40 people from China that was turned away from Japan arrives in Taiwan -- Daily Mail
'We're definitely not prepared': Africa braces for new virus -- AP
OPEC committee urges output cut over coronavirus -- AFP
The global spread of the coronavirus: Where is it? -- AFP

Anger Grows In China As Death Toll From Coronavirus Grows

Posted: 08 Feb 2020 08:51 PM PST

VOA: As Death Toll From Virus Grows, More Chinese Voice Anger

Three months ago, Wuhan resident Zhang Yi was sitting next to two local Hubei province reporters at a restaurant. He overheard them talking about the Provincial Party Committee secretary, who was upset about a news story. The official told the reporters negative stories would no longer be published.

A month later, a mysterious virus started spreading though Wuhan's residents, causing pneumonia-like symptoms.

In early January, Chinese officials called this new virus "preventable and controllable." They said they had seen "no evidence of person-to-person transmission." Throughout the week of January 11, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission published the same number of confirmed cases: 41.

Those official statements failed to convince Zhang. In his mind, he kept hearing what he'd overheard the reporters talking about in the restaurant.

Read more ....

Update: Anger grows in China as deadly coronavirus cases increase (Associated Press Reporters)

WNU Editor: Among my friends and contacts in China I do not sense anger (so far). The feedback that I am getting is more fear and worry.

Wuhan Coronavirus In China -- News Updates February 2, 2020

Posted: 08 Feb 2020 08:31 PM PST

Daily Mail: Coronavirus death toll hits 805 as virus claims more lives than 2003 SARS outbreak - as Beijing starts rounding up sufferers and videos show hazmat suit-clad goons dragging people from their homes

* A total of 774 died in the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak between 2002 and 2003
* Comes as a clip believed to be in Changqing Garden, Wuhan, shows man sprinting away from officials
* Five more Britons, including a 9-year-old boy, have virus in France after one of them went to Singapore
* Another clip, said to be taken in Suzhou, shows suspected coronavirus sufferers dragged from their homes

he coronavirus death toll has hit 805, overtaking the number who died from the SARS pandemic, as the communist regime in China rounds up suffers in Wuhan before taking them to camps.

A total of 774 died in the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak between 2002 and 2003 - another coronavirus that jumped from animals to humans in China.

Earlier today, the last evacuation flight carrying more than 150 British passengers back home left coronavirus-hit Wuhan for the UK.

It comes after a video showing a man suspected of having coronavirus desperately sprinting away from officials trying to put him in quarantine has emerged.

The clip, believed to be taken in Changqing Garden, Wuhan, shows a group of officials approaching the man who who is backed up against a wall.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Excellent coverage from Zero Hedge .... Chengdu On Lockdonw As Coronavirus Deaths Hit 813, Surpassing Total From 2003 SARS Outbreak (Zero Hedge).

Wuhan Coronavirus News Updates In China -- February 2, 2020

Coronavirus latest: More than 80 deaths in one day -- DW
China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates -- Al Jazeera
Coronavirus outbreak: Death toll surpasses total from SARS outbreak: Live Updates -- CNN
China's virus death toll surpasses SARS but new cases fall -- AP
New virus has infected more than 37,500 people globally -- AP
Deaths from China's coronavirus outbreak surpass deaths from SARS -- Reuters
Mainland China reports 89 new coronavirus deaths on February 8 -- Reuters
China virus deaths rise past 800, overtaking SARS toll -- France 24
Coronavirus deaths exceed Sars fatalities in 2003 -- BBC
China virus deaths rise past 800, overtaking SARS toll -- AFP
Coronavirus mass arrests: Eighty-six people die of virus in a DAY in China as Beijing starts rounding up sufferers and videos show hazmat suit-clad goons dragging people from their homes while death toll hits 724
Coronavirus deaths surpass SARS outbreak, hitting 780 in Hubei province -- ABC News Online
Coronavirus global death toll overtakes Sars epidemic -- The Guardian
Coronavirus: two deaths in Wuhan thought to be first of foreign nationals -- The Guardian
Chinese authorities use facial recognition cameras, AI and big data from world's most sophisticated mass surveillance system to track coronavirus victims -- Daily Mail
China turns to AI, data in fight against virus -- AFP
Hero Chinese doctor who first warned of coronavirus outbreak before it killed him was warned by police: 'If you refuse to repent you will be punished' -- Daily Mail
Chinese citizen journalist who has brought the world the truth on coronavirus emergency disappears from the streets of Wuhan days after whistleblower doctor died -- Daily Mail
Voices from Hubei, two weeks into coronavirus lockdown -- Al Jazeera
China scrambles to keep cities in coronavirus lockdown fed -- FOX News/AP
China's ghost cities: fear of coronavirus leaves streets deserted -- The Guardian
Timeline: How China's new coronavirus spread -- Al Jazeera

Cameron Elections: Violence And Calls For An Election Boycott This Sunday

Posted: 08 Feb 2020 07:48 PM PST

AFP: Cameroon elections overshadowed by boycott and violence

aoundé (AFP) - Voters in Cameroon will cast their ballots Sunday in a country where the mood has been darkened by separatist violence and calls for an election boycott.

Elections to renew the central African country's legislature and local councils are taking place for the first time in seven years, after two postponements.

Despite the delays, the campaigning has been low key.

In the capital Yaounde, the few banners put up by the ruling Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (RDPC in its French initials) are barely more numerous than posters calling on people to pick up their litter.

Read more ....

Cameron Elections: Violence And Calls For An Election Boycott This Sunday

Cameroon elections: A vote marked by violence and abstention -- DW
Cameroon gears up for delayed polls amid security fears -- Al Jazeera
Cameroon Opposition Says Supporters Arrested for Campaigning for Boycott -- VOA
Cameroon: Rise in killings in Anglophone regions ahead of parliamentary elections -- Amnesty International
Scared Cameroonians Flee From English-Speaking Regions Ahead of Sundays Polls -- Relief Web

Irish General Election: Exit Polls Are Predicting A 'Tie' Between The Three Main Parties

Posted: 08 Feb 2020 06:25 PM PST

BBC: Irish general election: Exit poll predicts 'tie' between three main parties

The three main political parties have tied in first preference votes, according to an exit poll for the Republic of Ireland's general election.

The earliest indications from the poll suggest there is little difference between Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil.

Polling closed in the general election at 22:00 GMT.

Counting to elect the 33rd Dáil (Irish parliament) will begin on Sunday in all 39 constituencies.

There will be coverage of the election results on the BBC News NI website from 12:00 GMT on Sunday.

Read more ....

More News On Today's Elections In Ireland

Sinn Fein Irish election surge leaves three main parties tied -- Reuters
Top 3 parties in dead heat after Irish parliament elections -- AP
Ireland elections: Exit poll shows three-way tie -- DW
'Three horse race' as Ireland goes to the polls to vote for next government -- France 24
Ireland general election: Sinn Féin surges to 22% in exit poll -- The Guardian
Exit polls predict three-way tie in Irish government -- UPI
Three-way tie in Ireland's general election: Exit poll -- Al Jazeera
Irish election too close to call as 'historic' surge by left-wing nationalist Sinn Fein stuns establishment -- RT

Beserk Thai Soldier Kills 21, Wounds 31 In Shooting Rampage In City 155 Miles Northeast Of Bangkok

Posted: 08 Feb 2020 06:02 PM PST

Daily Mail: Beserk soldier kills 21: Thai commando dies in raid on shopping mall where gunman is holed up after his deadly shooting spree while posting selfies on Facebook

* Sergeant Major Jakrapanth Thomma went on a killing spree in Korat, 155 miles from Thai capital Bangkok
* Thomma hijacked an army vehicle, shot an officer and soldiers, and sprayed a volley of bullets at civilians
* He's then believed to have taken hostages at a shopping centre that Thai forces later tonight laid siege to
* Authorities have rescued hundreds of trapped shoppers but suspect still at large in the northeastern city
* There were fears the shooter could try to hide in the panicked crowd as they ran out of the shopping centre
* Thai media said the suspect's mother was being taken to the shopping mall to try to persuade him to give up
* Volleys of gunfire were heard ringing out from inside the besieged mall where the gunman is still holed up

A Thai commando has been killed as security forces desperately try to capture a rogue soldier who has killed at least 21 people in a gun rampage inside a shopping mall - where he is still holed up more than 12 hours after he first struck.

Sergeant Major Jakrapanth Thomma, 32, is hiding out in the Terminal 21 shopping mall in Nakhon Ratchasima, a city 155 miles northeast of Bangkok, after opening fire on terrified civilians this afternoon.

He began his murderous rampage at his barracks, where he executed his commanding officer along with two other soldiers, before commandeering a humvee and tearing away from the scene.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This rogue soldier is still on the loose.

More News On Rogue Thai Soldier Kills 21, Wounds 31 In Shooting Rampage

21 dead, 31 hurt in Thai mass shooting; gunman hides in mall -- AP
Death toll hits 21 from Thai rampage after attempt to stop shooter -- Reuters
Thai police storm mall after soldier kills at least 21 in mass shooting -- The Guardian
Fresh gunfire at Thai mall after soldier kills several in shooting rampage -- France 24
Thailand shooting leaves at least 21 dead as soldier opens fire at Korat shopping centre -- ABC News Online
Thai soldier kills at least 20 in shooting rampage -- DW
Thailand shooting: Soldier kills 20 in gun rampage -- BBC
A Thai soldier has killed at least 20 people in a shooting spree, authorities say. He may be at a mall -- CNN
Thailand shooting: How the massacre in Korat unfolded -- BBC
Thailand: Soldier kills at least 20, injures 31, sparks manhunt -- UPI
Thai soldier goes on shooting rampage, killing at least 21 people -- Al Jazeera
21 killed in Thailand mall carnage, gunman still on the loose: What we know so far -- RT

Multiple U.S. Troops Killed And Wounded In Firefight In Eastern Afghanistan

Posted: 08 Feb 2020 06:04 PM PST

Daily Mail: Taliban claims 'five or six' US soldiers and six Afghan troops were killed in firefight in eastern Afghanistan

* Exchange of gunfire took place in eastern Afghanistan province of Nangarhar
* US special forces are in region to help government clear area of Taliban fighters
* US military said there were six casualties, though unclear how many fatalities
* It is also unclear what precipitated the firefight between Afghans, Americans

American and Afghan military personnel were fired on while conducting an operation in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, the US military said Saturday, as unverified claims by the Taliban indicate at least five dead US soldiers.

There were multiple American casualties, but the number and the extent of the injuries were not immediately known, according to a US official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss information that has not been officially released.

US military spokesman Col. Sonny Leggett said in a statement that both Afghan and US personnel were 'engaged by direct firing.'

'We are assessing the situation,' Leggett said, without saying whether there were any casualties.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I hate posting news reports like this one.

More News On Multiple U.S. Troops Killed And Wounded In Firefight In Eastern Afghanistan

American, Afghan soldiers killed in shootout in Afghanistan: New York Times -- Reuters
US official: American casualties in Afghan military mission -- AP
US, Afghan forces come under 'direct fire' in eastern Afghanistan: US official -- AFP
Multiple U.S. troops killed and wounded in attack in Afghanistan -- NBC
Multiple US casualties in Afghanistan after attack during military mission, officials say -- FOX News
U.S. and Afghan Special Operations Forces Killed in Deadly Ambush -- Newsweek
US and Afghan troops come under direct fire during operation, US military says -- CNN
US, Afghan forces suffer causalities after enduring direct fire: reports -- The Hill
US and Afghan troops fired on in Nangarhar province -- BBC
U.S., Afghan forces attacked in eastern Afghanistan -- UPI
Casualties reported after US Special Forces team ambushed in Afghanistan -- Task & Purpose
US & Afghan forces come under 'direct fire' in eastern Afghanistan -- RT

Editor's Note

Posted: 08 Feb 2020 07:18 AM PST

Taking some R&R right now. Blogging will return this evening.

The Coronavirus Outbreak Will Be Worse For The Global Economy Than SARS

Posted: 08 Feb 2020 05:48 AM PST

CNBC: Coronavirus: The hit to the global economy will be worse than SARS

* The new coronavirus outbreak will be worse for the global economy than the 2003 SARS outbreak was, data analysis firm IHS Markit predicts.
* Since the SARS outbreak, China has grown from the world's sixth-largest economy to the second biggest today.
* The longterm economic impact of the new coronavirus outbreak will be determined largely by China's containment measures, the report says.

The new coronavirus outbreak will be worse for the global economy than the 2003 SARS epidemic was, data analysis firm IHS Markit predicts.

While both outbreaks originated in China, nearly two decades separate the SARS outbreak from the new coronavirus outbreak. In that time, China has grown from the world's sixth-largest economy to the second biggest today behind the U.S. The country has been a main growth driver worldwide, with the International Monetary Fund estimating that China alone accounted for 39% of global economic expansion in 2019.

Read more ....

More News On How The Coronavirus Outbreak Will Be Worse For The Global Economy Than SARS

Coronavirus to have larger impact on global economy than Sars outbreak, report claims -- The National
How the Coronavirus Epidemic Could Upend the Global Economy -- Time
Coronavirus epidemic to cost global economy £217bn in first quarter, say experts -- The Independent
The coronavirus is already hurting the world economy. Here's why it could get really scary -- CNN
The Market's Reaction to Coronavirus Is 'Ludicrous,' Economist Says. Here's Why. -- Barrons

Will The Chinese People Turn On The Communist Party?

Posted: 08 Feb 2020 07:19 AM PST

Image: China's President Xi Jinping (C) attends the bilateral meeting with President of Botswana Mokgweetsi Masisi (not pictured) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 31 August 2018. Roman Pilipey/Pool via Reuters

Wang Xiangwei, SCMP: Coronavirus: what Xi fears most is Chinese turning on the Communist Party

* It's not just lives, health and the economy that are threatened by the deadly disease.
* China's authoritarian centralised system of rule is, too

Back on January 21 last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping told a gathering of senior officials that they must be on guard against "black swans" and "grey rhinos" which could threaten the rule of the Communist Party
amid a slowing economy.

At that time, Xi's use of animal metaphors sparked discussions among observers who generally interpreted his warnings as being related to different kinds of economic risks. "Black swans" are events that cannot be predicted but have a profound impact on markets, while "grey rhinos" are known risks that have the potential to cause great harm but which people choose to ignore.

One year later, Xi's wildlife metaphors about the dangers facing the country have proved prophetic on a more literal level.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Chinese Communist Party and the centralization of rule from Beijing has always had a tenuous relationship with the Chinese people. This outbreak, if not under control in the coming months, is going to test that relationship. But as much as Xi is worried about the Chinese turning against the Communist Party, an even bigger concern for him is if the Communist Party turns against him.